Lawnmower Man in the Garden of Eden
Apparently it is harvest season in the Rice neighborhood – and we’re talking about fruits and vegetables – not the green leafy stuff that is only legal to use for medicinal purposes.”Here’s some cucumbers from the garden!” husband-head said proudly the other evening as he dumped a load on the kitchen counter. “Make something from those, woman!”I looked at the green fruits and wondered what I would do with so many.”And here’s some tomatoes from the garden!” husband-head said the next evening as he unloaded another pile on the counter. “Isn’t this cool? I have harvested edible food substances from the earth!”Yeah, the organic, homegrown idea was nifty, but I had visions of moldy, unused fruit dancing in my head.And when he’s not tending to his garden, husband-head is busy taking care of the neighborhood lawns, including the single lady next door and the elderly single senior citizen woman across the street.But because husband-head is a really nice guy, he doesn’t mind. He knows they can’t do it themselves and have no one else to mow for them. So a couple times a week, he hauls over his lawnmower and takes care of it.”I’m like ‘The Lawnmower Man,'” he said as he left to go mow the other evening, referring to the 1992 movie that starred Jeff Fahey.”Yes, only in this version you are a brilliant autocad draftsperson by day and the retarded gardener in the evening,” I agreed wholeheartedly.But the neighbors are very appreciative of husband-head’s work and because he won’t accept any money for it, they compensate him in other ways.”These are from Molly,” husband-head returned, with a large bag of peaches and tomatoes from the elderly woman across the street. “Isn’t that nice?”Yes, it was. And I added it to the large growing bowl of fruit.While husband-head mowed, I worked out in our back yard.”Pssst … Heidi,” another next door neighbor summoned me from over the fence.I went over to see what he wanted.”Take these,” he said, handing me two of the largest cucumbers I’ve ever seen in my life. Normally, the only fruit thing he hands me is a bottle of peach schnapps to swig off of, but this time it was the real deal.And we didn’t even mow his lawn.”Technically, they’re called cucumbers, but I call them ‘home wreckers,'” he laughed.I furiously blushed and took them into the house – putting them into the refrigerator, I might add.The next night, the same neighbor offered me up a basket of tomatoes. I didn’t want to be rude, so I took a few.”What in the WORLD am I going to do with all of these?” I asked husband-head as I surveyed the bountiful bowl of overflowing fruit.”Ummm … salad?” husband-head shrugged. “And we could sprinkle the grass clippings from all the lawns on top.”I didn’t want it to go to waste, but I knew there was no way in the world two people could eat all this produce before it went bad.”Perhaps I’ll give some to the mail-babe,” I suggested to husband-head, using his nickname for our very attractive mail delivery person.”Yes, tell her she can eat it in the hot tub in a small Brazilian bikini,” he agreed.It’s amazing how easily a ripe tomato will explode when hurled at a human.A few nights later, husband-head came back into the kitchen, his hands full of a bunch of hot peppers, again from his garden.”I’m thinking salsa, senorita,” he smiled. “Mix these with all those tomatoes and we can RHUMBA! You can even make homemade tortilla chips and fresh guacamole to go along with it!”Another tomato bit the dust.A few nights later after husband-head again mowed everyone’s yard, I noticed the single lady next door leaving something on our front porch.It was a case of Bud Light.”YES!” I cried silently to myself as I ripped one out of the case. “Something that comes from Anheuser-Busch instead of a garden!”And I knew there was no way it was going to go bad.Heidi Rice is a staff writer for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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